Coun­cil­lors call for ur­gent talks to re­in­state 24-hour care on Portree

The Oban Times - - News -

HIGH­LAND coun­cil­lors sup­port­ing the re­in­state­ment of round-the- clock emer­gency cover on Skye are call­ing for ur­gent talks with Health Min­is­ter Shona Ro­bi­son.

Four is­land coun­cil­lors and coun­cil leader Mar­garet David­son want to re­in­state 24/ 7 NHS emer­gency cover in Portree and north Skye.

The coun­cil­lors also have the sup­port of mem­bers in Wester Ross, Strath­p­ef­fer and Lochalsh.

The coun­cil agreed to ap­proach the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary fol­low­ing a mo­tion from Skye coun­cil­lors Cal­lum Ma­cLeod, Ron­ald Mac­Don­ald and John Gor­don to the lo­cal au­thor­ity at its meet­ing on June 29.

It stated: ‘The peo­ple of Skye and Raasay have wide­spread un­ease about the NHS High­land re­design process with many key ques­tions re­main­ing unan­swered.

‘Since th­ese unan­swered ques­tions re­late lit­er­ally to life and death is­sues, we ask the High­land Coun­cil to ap­proach the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary for Health and Sport, Shona Ro­bi­son, to meet with the leader of High­land Coun­cil and with the four Skye coun­cil­lors on be­half of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Com­mit­tee.’

Com­mu­ni­ties in Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross are served by Dr MacK­in­non’s in Broad­ford and Portree Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal.

The pre­ferred op­tion for a ma­jor re­design of ser­vices in­cluded co-lo­cat­ing all the in-pa­tient beds in a new hos­pi­tal in Broad­ford.

NHS High­land chair­man David Al­ston said more than 50 meet­ings took place dur­ing a three-month con­sul­ta­tion about the re- de­sign and a sur­vey was de­liv­ered to ev­ery home and busi­ness in the area.

Of the more than 2,000 peo­ple who re­sponded, 80 per cent sup­ported the pre­ferred model of ser­vice.

The poll also found 57 per cent also favoured Broad­ford as the pre­ferred lo­ca­tion for the new hos­pi­tal, com­pared to 29 per cent who sup­ported it to be built in Portree.

The Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary, in her re­sponse to the board in Fe­bru­ary 2015, noted she had ‘care­fully con­sid­ered the pro­pos­als’ and was ‘con­tent’ to ap­prove the board’s pro­pos­als.

Since then, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has ap­proved the ini­tial agree­ment which is a key step to se­cur­ing a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment of around £15 mil­lion for the area.

Re­spond­ing to the mo­tion on 24-hour emer­gency care, Mr Al­ston said NHS High­land’s po­si­tion is ‘ very clear’.

He said: ‘The ser­vice pro­vided from Portree Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal is a GP-led mi­nor in­jury unit (MIU). It has never had an ac­ci­dent and emer­gency unit as na­tion­ally recog­nised. There are only four in NHS High­land.

‘The MIU op­er­ates seven days a week be­tween 8am to 11pm. There were no pro­pos­als to change this ser­vice as part of the re- de­sign and none are planned.’

The health board chair­man said he has been in touch with coun­cil­lors re­cently: ‘I have been in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the coun­cil­lors to dis­cuss the var­i­ous is­sued raised and have of­fered to meet with them. How­ever, they feel this is un­likely to be pro­duc­tive, but the of­fer to meet still stands.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.